Eco Friendly Camping Equipment

Most people are well aware that we must do what we can to be carbon neutral and ecologically friendly as individuals and as societies. Camping can offer a chance to get away without costing the earth – literally and metaphorically. But when camping, we can still be pretty reliant on fossil fuels: to get where we are going, to cook when we get there, to see what we are doing at night, often also to power our gadgetry. Our tents' manufacture involves a strain on the planet. Even the most back-to-basics camping trip can use polluting, finite energy sources. So what can we do?

Nothing changes overnight. But little by little the market and supply of camping products is changing. Fortunately, there are products on the market which can help us to make our camping holidays more eco friendly. Here are a few suggestions:

Equipment:

Did you know that synthetic plastic is made from oil, a fossil fuel? When thinking about fossil fuel use most people think of vehicular fuel, but plastic items are just as much of a problem. What is more, all that plastic just sticks around... The most eco friendly tents are those which don't use plastic. Perhaps you could go for a metal and cotton canvas tent? Let us hope that tent manufacturers will soon begin to turn to bioplastics and other new technologies so we can enjoy the latest innovations without increasing plastic waste.

Plastics and composite materials are a problem in motorhomes and caravans. Try to go for a company that thinks about the lifecycle of its products from beginning to end.

Getting There:

Taking a motorhome? The world's first electric campervan is now on sale. Electric cars are also a possible future option, though for now the onus is on the automotive industry and electricity generation to change. If you are taking a tent, travelling on foot, by bike, by kayak or by public transport is your best bet.

Cooking:

Biolite's innovative wood-fuelled camping stoves are an interesting new development in the field and, though still quite expensive, could be an alternative to butane stoves and other gas camping cookers. Their range turns wood stored energy into usable electricity which will power lights or gadgets.

With a caravan or motorhome, don't hook up to the electricity. Instead, why not consider a photovoltaic solar panel to power the necessary?

Perhaps in the future advanced biofuels from waste products will be available for camp cooking?

Utensils:

Again, avoid plastic, especially if it is disposable. Take metal cutlery and if you want a more non-breakable alternative to crockery then consider metal and/or silicone products on the market.

Lighting:

Wind up LED torches are very useful. LED lanterns to light a campsite can also be helpful, though they do take some effort to generate power. An alternative is offered by Biolite, whose innovative systems may be leading the way forward in the field. Solar powered lights are another option for site illumination.

Reducing your carbon footprint is never easy and the real change will come from manufacturers and governments. But as individuals we can all do our bit and by choosing eco friendly products today, we can drive the change of tomorrow.